Here’s a chance to meet, and have dinner with, three award-winning Italian winemakers, each a recipient of “tre bicchieri,” (three glasses), Gambero Rosso’s designation for Top Wine.
The event is billed as “A Tre Bicchieri Journey Through Italy,” and is being hosted February 25, at one of my favorite Bay-area wine stores and restaurants, PRIMA, in Walnut Creek.
(Am thinking that perhaps they should rename the place and call it DUO since it’s both a well-stocked wine store and a fabulous restaurant!)
The winemakers who will be present, pouring their wines:
Cristina Oddero, whom I visited just two months ago at her winery, Fratelli Oddero, in La Morra, in the Langhe region of Piemonte.
I summarized my visit by noting “Cristina produces liquid poetry.” Let’s hope she brings some of her stunning 2001 Mondoca Bussia Soprano, an ambrosial Barolo filled with truffle scents and ripe red fruit.
Caterina Mazzocolin, who makes the stunning wines at Fattoria Felsina, in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany.
I visited her family’s winery a few years ago, and spent a morning with Caterina’s dad, Giuseppe. I was overwhelmed by the quality of reds coming off their property.In fact, if volume is any significance, the largest single selection of Chiantis in my cellar comes from the Felsina property. Their 04, 06 and 07 Sangiovese-based wines are thrilling.
Winemaker Sabino Loffredo
Sabino Loffredo, from Campania, who makes the much ballyhoo’d Pietracupa, in Avellino, is the only winemaker at the PRIMA event whose property I have not visited.
I asked John Rittmaster, owner of PRIMA, to share a few thoughts about Sabrino’s wines, and what guests might expect at the event:
“Southern Italy is less traveled than Piemonte and Tuscany; and while many associate the Amalfi Coast and Napoli with Campania, to me it is the meandering hills around the towns of Avellino and Taurasi. It is here where some of Italy’s purest, most lovely, whites are made in the shadow of grumpy old Mount Vesuvius and some of the oldest vineyards in the world produce dark, pungent Aglianico wines capable of aging effortlessly for decades.
Sabino Loffredo’s Pietraculpa wines are some of the best made in all of Campania. The whites are intense, minerally and broadly flavored while Sabino’s Taurasi is a showstopper. His wines will add a distinctly southern accent to this evening’s journey around Italy.”
Highlights of the event
There are really two parts to the Tre Bicchieri evening.
From 5:30 to 7 pm, you may hob-nob with the winemakers, taste their wines, and nibble on antipasti. The fee is $20 per person.
As well, or instead of attending the in-store tasting, at 7 pm, you may sit down to a fabulous full-course dinner, at which wines from all three producers will be poured copiously. The cost for dinner is $85 per diner, plus tax and gratuity.
Reservations are suggested for the tasting, but required for the dinner.
Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 925-935-7780 and speak with John.
PRIMA is at 1522 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, CAPS. I was so thrilled with the fall-color shots I took in Piemonte, near Cristina Oddero’s estate, two months ago, that I want to share them with readers.
One More Thing: The Langhe in fall may be the most beautiful wine region I have ever seen. If Wine Heaven looks like this, I won’t put up a struggle to go.